As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, September 28, 2007

What Do We Want? An End To The War! When Do We Want It? At Some Unfixed Time In The Future!

You've gotta be kidding me.

A small group of Republicans facing election fights next year have rallied around war legislation they think could unite the GOP: call for an end to U.S. combat in Iraq, but wait until President Bush is out of office.

The legislation was deemed essentially a nonstarter by Democrats Friday and underscored the difficulty Congress has in striking a bipartisan compromise on the war. What attracts Democrats has repelled Republicans and vice versa, making it impossible so far to find a middle ground [...]

The proposal, by Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, would require that Bush change the mission of U.S. troops from combat to primarily support roles, such as training Iraqi security forces and protecting U.S. infrastructure in Iraq. His legislation would set a goal of completing such a mission transition within 15 months.

If enacted immediately, that timeline would not kick in until Bush's last couple weeks in office.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and Norm Coleman of Minnesota. Of the sponsors, only Voinovich is not up for re-election in 2008.

Awfully convenient.

Can anyone now not say that the Republicans are primarily concerned with getting Bush off the hook and blaming the failure in Iraq on Democrats? And also, this is classic Overton Window stuff. You have the President running around giving back-channel advice to the Democratic candidates, advising them to stay in Iraq. That's completely absurd, so as a compromise, the "sensible centrist" Republicans who are concerned with keeping their jobs go "OK, we can leave after Bush is done." This completely unreasonable suggestion seems reasonable, compared to Bush (and compared to Democratic front-runners).

UPDATE: By the way, Congress passed a two-month blank check for the occupation with almost no fanfare. Only Russ Feingold dissented in the Senate. Therefore you must conclude that he's the only one in the Senate who actually wants to end the war.

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